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A radiometric dating resource list

Geologist Ralph Harvey and historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth.As the uranium in rocks decays, it emits subatomic particles and turns into lead at a constant rate.I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.

But it wasn't until the late 1700s -- when Scottish geologist James Hutton, who observed sediments building up on the landscape, set out to show that rocks were time clocks -- that serious scientific interest in geological age began.

We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].

The person who wrote these words lived in the 1800s, many years before archaeologists could accurately date materials from archaeological sites using scientific methods.

The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.

Because of the somewhat short half-life of 14C, radiocarbon dating is not applicable to samples with ages greater than about 50,000 years, because the remaining concentration would be too small for accurate measurement.


  1. Geologist Ralph Harvey and historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth. As the uranium in rocks decays, it emits subatomic. Resource Type Video. Format QuickTime or RealPlayer. Length 1 min, 39 sec. Topics Covered Deep Time/History of Life.

  2. Aug 23, 2005. This is a list of resources, some on the web, some not, which can be consulted by anyone interested in learning more about how radiometric dating is done, or in responding to arguments criticising radiometric dating. My purpose is to show, through these resources that young-Earth creationist criticisms of.

  3. Jun 9, 2003. McDougall, I. and T. M. Harrison, 1988. Geochronology and Thermochronology by the 40Ar/39Ar Method. Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics no.9. New York Oxford. technical Thompson, Timothy, 2003. A radiometric dating resource list. Wiens.

  4. Topics. Clicking on the following topics will take you to the brochure listing for that topic. General. Artifact Appraisals · Art Conservation Organizations · Art Conservation Training · Dating of Artifacts · Disaster Resources · Time Capsules. Furniture & Wooden Objects. Biological Deterioration & Damage to Furniture & Wooden.

  5. May 20, 2011. Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find. They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years. This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time order.

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